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Travis sat silent in the Kangaroo Mart parking lot. As the radio in his Grand Cherokee hummed out the final tones of “One Headlight” by The Wallflowers, the sudden jolt into an ad for Lloyd-Howard Toyota riled him from his daydreaming state.
“No sales experience required my ass.”
Travis shut down his truck and dragged himself into the convenience store. It was a slow afternoon and the only noise aside from the trill of the door’s chime and one other customer was chatter from a well out of date speaker system.
“Bad credit? No credit? Our representatives are here to find the right deal for you! That’s a Big Lloyd guarantee!”
“Asshole,” muttered Travis.
He ambled his way to the Kangaroo Cave at the back of the store and grabbed the nearest 12 pack of cheap domestic beer. It all pretty much tasted the same. As the fellow in front of him finally finished buying what had to be 120 different scratch-offs, Trav approached the counter.
“That and a can of Wolf. Straight.”
“Big T? That you?”
Travis looked up but failed to make eye contact. He couldn’t quite draw a bead on the left eye. The crooked smile didn’t ring any bells either. He’d gone to school with a lot of folks with janky faces.
“T Dawg! How’s it been man? You visiting your mama or something man? How’s Atlanta? I bet you’re cleaning up out there man.”
Was it Glenn? The somewhat asymmetrical little man’s name tag said Glenn, so it seemed as good a guess as any. Travis loaded up a fake smile.
“Glenn, how’s it been? I’m just in town for a while.”
The cashier proceeded to dole out his life story for the past five years, from his first two kids to a marriage and a brief period where his girlfriend almost met his wife. Travis’ eyes darted frantically from the case of beer to the can of dip that remained untouched on the back wall. “Just do your job you incompetent dick,” he thought.
“… but this one’s probably gonna work out man. Between that and managing this joint that’s about all I get up to man. We can’t all lead exciting lives like you man,” Glenn winked.
“You’re the fucking manager?” was what Travis wanted to say. All that came out was “It’s a living. How much for the beer.” He’d forego the dip just to get the hell out of this store. It was clearly a shadow dimension where idiots ruled.
After a half-hearted attempt by Manager Glenn to arrange a hang sesh (“Just hit me up on Facebook, man”), Trav hopped in his truck and lit up a Pall Mall. The drive home was a quick one. Not much traffic for noon on a Sunday. His mom and dad were probably still shaking the pastor’s hand and working out a time to have him for dinner and talk to their son. That’d give Travis an hour window to smoke a bowl, half-heartedly scroll through Indeed, and scream at the Panthers. Still, Glenn’s diatribe rolled around in the back of his head. That kid had probably never even talked to a girl back in the day, but now he had a whole ass family and a half. Not to mention a pretty decent gig selling Johnny Bootlegger’s to 15 year olds. Maybe Glenn was an unappreciated genius like in that Matt Damon movie. Maybe ol’ Glenn was a master cocksmith all alon- stop sign.
The 12 pack of Genesee rocketed it’s way out of the passenger seat as Trav slammed the brakes. Despite the blaring horn of some horse’s ass in a Tundra behind him, he prioritized making sure there was no spillage on his floorboards. The glove box was dented but thankfully, Genesee took pride in their packaging. The horn continued.
“It’s called a stop sign sir. It means I have to stop,” yelled Trav at the large bald man who apparently had very urgent business that needed attending on a Sunday. All he got in response was a one finger wave as the truck sped around him and turned down a residential street.
All he managed to make out as the oversized pickup darted away was the same bald man’s smiling face next to a logo on the tailgate.
“Lloyd-Howard Toyota: We make it work for YOU!”
Maybe he needed to get back on Facebook and see if Glenn was hiring..